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THE HISTORY OF MRS FIELDS' CHOCOLATE CHIPPERY

Mrs. Fields is celebrating something sweet this month and it's not just their signature chocolate chip cookies. What began as a one-woman storefront in Palo Alto, California in 1977 has grown into a world-renowned franchise that is celebrating 38+ years of successful business. When Debbi Fields opened the first Mrs. Fields store she could be found walking around outside her storefront, putting smiles on the faces of those who passed by her shop by giving away warm cookies. Debbi's amazing recipe, dynamic personality and dedication to customer service are the foundations that have made the company successful. As the company grew, Mrs. Fields remained true to the original mission of creating the highest quality product possible, every time.

By 1987, fourteen different flavors of cookies were being offered and the company expanded to other parts of the U.S. Mrs. Fields now has 250 U.S. locations, 97 international stores in 23 countries and their headquarters has been relocated to Denver. Learn more about how one sweet idea became a worldwide taste sensation:

FOUNDED IN AUGUST 1977

Debbi Fields, a young mom, decides to try her hand at business by selling her chocolate chip cookies. Skeptics said that no business could survive by just selling cookies! Armed with an amazing recipe, a dynamic personality, and a dedication towards customer service, Debbi is determined to succeed.

FIRST STORE OPENS AT PIER 39

Warren Simmons, owner of Pier 39 shopping area in San Francisco, CA, invites Mrs. Fields to open a store. After a year of consideration, Debbi accepts Simmons’ offer. Sales are initially slow, so Debbi famously begins giving away free cookies. Soon after, the store becomes legendary for its long lines of paying customers.

GROWTH IN THE 1980'S

Mrs. Fields branches out to other parts of the U.S. By Spring of 1981 Mrs. Fields operates 14 stores, though not all of them are an immediate success. Debbi goes to all extremes to ensure the success of the stores – including asking a Kahuna to bless the Ala Moana store in Honolulu. This store soon becomes one of the most profitable locations.

ACQUISITIONS

In June 1984, Mrs. Fields acquires 72 stores of Jessica’s, then known as Famous. The company also buys La Petite Boulangerie, a chain of 119 french bakery stores, for $15 Million. Later in 1990, several other brands are acquired: Original Cookie Company, Great American Cookies, Pretzel Time, Pretzel Maker, Hot Sam, Pretzel Bakery, TCBY.

PRODUCT OFFERING EXPANDS

By 1987 the stores offer 14 different flavors of cookies. Milk Chocolate (with and without nuts), Semi-sweet (with and without walnuts), Semi-sweet (with and without macadamia nuts), Pecan Whites, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut (aka Debra’s Special), Peanut Butter Dreams, Triple Chocolate, Raisin Spice, White Chunk with macadamia nuts, and Royal Pecan. Brownies, ice cream, candy and muffins join the lineup as well.

A PUBLISHED HISTORY

1987: "One Smart Cookie," written by Debbi Fields and Alan Furst 1992: Cookie Book "100 Recipes from the Kitchen of Mrs. Fields" 1994: I Love Chocolate! Cookbook

1990: A BUSY YEAR

Mrs. Fields reaches an agreement with Marriot Corp. which allows them to own and operate 60 stores and receive exclusive rights to build stores in airports and hotels. Stores are remodeled to accomodate more displays for new packaging: cookie jars and tins. Franchising of Mrs. Fields stores begins which enables each owner to take control of their lives, just like Debbi. Mrs. Fields goes global and operates 45 international stores including Canada, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom.

EXPANSION OF THE BRAND

1998: Mrs. Fields Gifts, a catalog and online store, is created to better serve the expanding customer base. Themed packages and gifts full of cookies and other delicious treats are available for delivery worldwide at www.mrsfields.com or by calling 1.800. COOKIES. 1999: Mrs. Fields develops a new recipe suitable for store shelves and begins selling it through convenience stores as well as grocery stores. The product hit Wal-Mart store shelves in 2010.

CONTINUED GROWTH = NEW OFFICES

By 1991 the company had outgrown its Park City headquarters and moves to Salt Lake City offices on Bearcat Drive. In 1998 the company moves to a new 30,000 sq. ft. complex at Salt Lake City’s Cottonwood Corporate Center. In 2012, the headquarters was relocated to Denver, Colorado, a hub for franchising and branding expertise.



HERE'S TO ANOTHER 35 YEARS!!!